Divorce is not cheap. In fact, most people here in Oakland County probably recognize this fact as an unavoidable reality. However, for those of you ending your marriages without an unlimited budget on hand, there are lots of ways that you can cut down on the cost by making smart choices and planning ahead. So, from the divorce attorneys at The Kronzek Firm, here are a few ideas to keep in mind during your divorce. They may seem simple, but they’ll probably save you a buck or two.
Your attorney is not a therapist!
If you are having an emotionally hard time with your divorce, and nearly everybody does, you should definitely seek the counsel of a professional counselor. However, that professional should not be your attorney. Not only are attorneys not trained to provide emotional advice, they are usually much more expensive than therapists.
Remember, your attorney is going to bill you for time they spend talking to you on the phone, meeting with you in person, sending emails, and doing paperwork on your behalf. As a result, if you call your attorney to talk about what a rat your soon-to-be-ex is, or how hard the divorce is for you, you’re going to pay for it later. Literally. So keep your conversations with your attorney to the point, and discuss your feelings with a counselor, a therapist, or a good friend instead.
Don’t buy things for your children out of guilt
Parents who are getting divorced often feel guilty about the impact that their divorce is having on the children. As a result, they often try to compensate for the pain they think they’re causing their children by spending more money on them. Extra toys. Eating out more often. Trips to amusement parks. Expensive things. Yes, divorce is hard on the kids and on the parents.
We aren’t suggesting for a moment that you shouldn’t spend time doing things with your children, or that gifts are inappropriate. But trying to buy their forgiveness or purchase their happiness is a ploy doomed to fail. Not only will they see right through your intentions, but it will only make your divorce that much more costly. Quality time, love, and some undivided attention, which don’t cost anything, are what children need most during this difficult time.
Only deal with your attorney when you have to
Like a taxicab waiting on the curb, your attorney’s meter is constantly running. So the best way to ensure that you don’t waste your resources is to be succinct, direct and efficient. If your attorney sends you a list of documents they need, get everything together and send it all at the same time. Every time they have to call you to remind you to send something you missed, or revisit your case to reorganize new paperwork arriving in dribs and drabs, it will cost you more money.
Also, keep a notepad handy where you can jot down questions that you have for your attorney. That way, next time you two are talking, you can ask them everything you need to know, as opposed to calling every few days to ask about something. Better yet, send your questions to your divorce attorney by email once a week unless something is truly urgent.
You work hard for your money, so the less of it you have to spend on the divorce process, the better! Divorces in Oakland County can be very expensive, but it’s entirely possible to keep your costs down if you’re proactive and efficient. Also, it’s important to remember that while your attorney is a critical part of your success during your divorce, they are being paid for their education, experience, connections and hard work. So, in the same way that you wouldn’t buy something you don’t need because it would be a waste of money, don’t pay your attorney more than you need to.
Join us next time as we wrap up this list with the next three money saving divorce tips. Until then, if you or a loved one have decided to end your marriage and need help navigating the divorce process here in Oakland County, call The Kronzek Firm at (248) 479-6200. Our skilled family law attorneys can help you with divorce, custody, parenting time, child support or relocation.